The SUNY New Paltz community and special guests gathered on March 15, 2018, for an open house and ribbon-cutting celebrating the $1.5 million expansion and full renovation of the Speech-Language and Hearing Center. The enhanced facility will support enrollment growth in communication disorders programs and enable students, faculty and staff to better serve their clients.
“The Speech-Language and Hearing Center is specially designed for the teaching and learning needs of students and faculty, and as a high-quality facility that meets the needs of our clients,” said President Donald P. Christian. “The combination of a strong liberal arts foundation with clinical, experiential opportunities here has served, and will continue to serve, our graduates well for their future professional and personal success.”
The Center is a uniquely valuable community resource, meeting regional needs by providing diagnostic and therapeutic services for children and adults who demonstrate speech, language, or hearing difficulties.
“In the past year alone, we had more than 2,300 client visits,” said Center Director Jana Losey. “We are fulfilling our vision of offering comprehensive academic and clinical training along with affordable regional care. These renovations have increased and improved our visibility, our accessibility and our professional environment.”
This renovation, which coincides with the Center’s 50th anniversary, includes a new, state-of-the-art sound booth, larger therapy areas, modernized facilities, a larger waiting room, and a new entrance that provides better accessibility for clients with disabilities.
The Speech-Language and Hearing Center supports undergraduate and graduate programs in communication disorders, which are among the highest-enrolled programs at SUNY New Paltz.
Housed in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences, these programs “have placed thousands of students in hundreds of affiliated hospitals, clinics and schools treating thousands more clients throughout the mid-Hudson region, tristate area and beyond,” said Stella Turk, current registrar and former chair of the Department of Communication Disorders.
“The marriage of Communication Disorders and liberal arts speaks to the College’s and the Department’s commitment to the values of liberal education,” said Dean of Liberal Arts & Sciences Laura Barrett. “The liberal arts emphasis on interpersonal skills and cross-cultural understanding is at the heart of clinical practice. Analytical thinking, the synthesis of ideas, and creativity of thought are essential for the evidence-based research that moves the discipline forward.”
New Paltz students at all levels of study in communication disorders begin their clinical practice at the Speech-Language and Hearing Center, first by observing faculty and professional care providers, and later by working hands-on with clients.
“The Speech-Language and Hearing Center has provided me with my first opportunity to transition from a student into a professional,” said Jessica Griffin ’16 (Communication Disorders) ‘18g (Speech-Language Pathology), Nanuet, N.Y. “I’ve learned and applied foundational clinical skills that I will continue to expand upon after I graduate this spring and begin my career as a speech-language pathologist.”